Life Among the Unemployed – Survival Strategy

Time to get down to it.



I got my first, full-time, adult job when I was 22 years old.  So I’ve been working for 36 years.  This is my fourth time on the unemployment line.  Once upon a time that would have been an awful track record.  Today, not so much.

Still wasn’t what I dreamed of back in the day.

Sometimes having some experience helps.   When I was let go from my previous position I wrote a little bit about what I knew I had to do.  I said this:

The only advantage of having this kind of background is that I have learned a few things on how to survive it.  My plan for this period include:

  1. Find a routine – It is so easy to just go limp.  You don’t HAVE to go anywhere or be there at specific times.  You are without a schedule.  That freedom is so seductive.  That freedom is a siren’s song, designed to lure you onto the rocks.  Find a routine, create a routine, stick to that routine.
  2. Be Productive –  Part of your routine should be expectations that you will do something productive every day.  Even better?  Several things.  Keep the house clean.  Keep yourself clean.  Actively look for the next job.  Try something you’ve always wanted to do but never “had the time”.
  3. Have a Little Fun – Yes, money is tight right now.  Yes, cut back and be careful.  At the same time you need to keep some joy in your life.  Every once in a while treat yourself to something.  Doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to be fun.  Your mental attitude will be much better.

So that’s the core of my plan.  My routine is to get up at 7 AM, workout, keep the house clean, write, practice my guitar.  Take care of whatever chores are on the list for that day.  Plan meals.  Routine and productive.

All of that is important for keeping my head in the right place.  There are the functional things that need to be done as well.  Make sure I have a current, clean resume.  Start looking at places to find jobs.  Look for people who can help me.  Think outside the box.  Remember to look inside the box.  Go back over what worked last time, go over what didn’t work.  Do a serious self-evaluation.

This was my second full week of unemployment, and, as always, it was the worst.  The first week is shell-shock.  You’re just numb.  Week two is when it really hits.  This usually just makes me go slack.  I can’t focus, I can’t think.  I have to force myself to move forward.  Resume updated, profiles updated, start looking at options.  I survived.  Again.

So I will keep my head up, my eyes open, my heart strong.

Waiting to see the next chapter in my life.

Whatever it turns out to be.

And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.


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